news 4 days ago

Judge weighs lawsuit on ending of Liberian immigrant program

The Associated Press

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A federal judge in Massachusetts is weighing the Trump administration's request to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its decision to end a humanitarian program allowing Liberian immigrants to live and work in the country.

Judge Timothy Hillman is holding a hearing Wednesday in Worcester federal court in a lawsuit filed on behalf of 15 Liberian immigrants.

The March lawsuit challenges the administration's 2018 decision to end the Deferred Enforced Departure program, which dates to 2007.

But the U.S. attorney's office argues the decision is within the president's constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs. It also argues he has since extended the program for the roughly 4,000 Liberians that qualify through March 31, 2020.

Lawyers for the Liberians counter the decision was motivated by "racial animus" and the administration's "discriminatory immigration agenda."